19 answers

Odor/product Removal Suggestions, Please!

I have two questions. The first: I walked in on my daughter (1-1/2 years old) as she was playing with the big tub of Aquaphor and it was all over her, her furniture, clothing etc. I cleaned most of it but there are large patches of it smeared into a 100% wool area rug. I tried to blot it out but no use. For those of you that don't know what Aquaphor is, it is similar in color and texture to Vaseline - maybe a little thicker. Is there anything I can do to get this out? The second question relates to a fabric handbag I bought on clearance. Once I got it home and took it out of the bag I noticed it reeks of cigarette smoke. Someone who smokes must have bought/returned it before my purchase. Is there anyway to safely remove this smell? I find it horribly offensive and won't use the purse if I can't get rid of it (which is a shame b/c it is really cute!)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I just had a situation with VASELINE and the only thing that got it out was Dawn dishwashing liquid combined with corn starch. I used the corn starch to dap it on to sift the grease out and then washed several times with DAWN. I dont know about the second request .....sorry. Hope this helps!

More Answers

HI P.. As a smoker myself I can understand how you don't like the smell. There are some tricks that I use to get rid of the smell. I have found that febreze is very effective on lots of items. I have also found that bath & body works has a consintrated room spray in many scents that takes the smell of cigarettes out of textiles as well (even though it is ment for scenting the air of a room). I would take the purse outside and spray it really well inside and out and allow it to dry/air out outside. Depending on the purse you might have to do this twice to totally rid it of the smell. Good luck!

As soon as I saw the word Aquaphor, I started to laugh. When my oldest son was 2, he found the big jar of Vaseline that I would use for diaper changes (I was busy with my newborn). It was only a few minutes, but by the time I came out of the nursery, he had the whole thing in his hair (he looked like Ed Grimley from Saturnday Night Live), on the walls in the hallway, above his bed, and on his pillowcase! I'm not sure what you could do, but I wonder if Dawn dishwashing liquid, used really gently on the spot, would work? As far as the smelly purse, first try Febreze. If it's a Vera Bradley purse, my friend has one and she says that she has put in the washing machine on gentle and dried it on gentle, she just keeps an eye on it. Good luck to you. I'm right there with you with adoring your kids, just not always your "job"!

I would love to share with a product that takes out odor and might also clean up that product that dummp. I bought a product solumel it gets odors out. All naturally based and safe. Write me back. This has 100%satisfaction guarantee.

if you can not wash it then try some febreeze. i think it works well to get rid of odors because it gets down into the fabric and not just masks but gets rid of odors. i would also try to put it outside and air it out for a day after i put febreeze on it since it may take a while to dry.I do not smoke so i know how smelly things get when it gets the cigarette odor on it.
the aquaphor is thick,my sister in law uses it because she is a native american and she and the kids have dry skin. i would try some oxyclean mixed with water and scrub it on the rub. make sure to try a small area first to make sure the rug does not bleed.

Hi P.,
I would try alcohol or Goo Gone on the Aquaphor and I would wash the fabric handbag with Nature's Miracle (from the pet store). My dog just recently got skunked and that stuff is great! Also, do you think spraying the handbag with Febreze would work? Might be worth a try!

Not sure what to do about the Aquaphor.....but the purse.....place some baking soda in a small container....or get the one for the fridge and put it in there....it make soak up the smell....same goes for coal....

Find an oriental rug store near you to professionally clean the wool rug. It is the only way. Spray the purse with Febreze and leave it outside when the weather is nice. My husband had to get a blazer out of mothballs last week and Febreze took the smell out in one hour!!

I can't help you with the aquaphor, but for the purse, I would try using baking soda, as many others reccomended. I would also try leaving it out in the sun for a little while. Leave it out for a little while then turn it inside out to get the smell out of the inside. The sun takes smells and stains out of things better than anything else I have tried ever. My cat was mad at me, so she peed on my favorite sweatshirt and I could not get the smell out for anything- tried baking soda, febreeze, all the laundry stuff- nothing worked. I left it in the sun for a couple of hours and the smell was gone.

I just read in Martha Stewart (someone bought something vintage with musty smell) to rub in baking soda and vacuum out. Personally I have used a dish of plain vinegar to remove smoky smells (in the fireplace) so you could try both but the vinegar thing would require you putting the handbag in a box or something with the dish of vinegar. Car dealers and hotels use ozone machines so just in case you have a friend working at either place, they may be able to help you out. Good luck. A good handbag is hard to find! I'm currently using my earth day/power up Gambia bag--made of garbage bags in Gambia, Africa but am getting tired of it! Good luck.

Try odoban for the purse. My MIL uses it on everyting she can to get out smells. She says its the best thing for smoke smells and you can use it in a washing machine

As a mother of 3 boys, I have found a product called Sol-u-mel. I have removed permanet markers, crayons and my husband uses it in the garage. It can be added to your laundry or mixed in a spray bottle and used as an odor eliminator. It also kills dust mites. It is also safe to use around your home and it is eco-friendly.
Here is the link that you can purchase it at.


Hi Pam, I'm sorry I'm not sure how to respond to your first question,but regarding the the odor in your purse....you can get a detergent by febreeze that eliminates odors on fabrics in the wash. Good luck with the removal of the other product. Sorry I am not more help there.

Aquaphor hmmm well as silly as this sounds when my son put vasoline all over the floor I used a stack of paper towels and a hot iron on it to soak most of it out and then I washed the carpet with dish soap with oxyclean. It did work, but I'm not sure if it will work on wool, you may want to try a tiny spot first.

For the purse I used to have to treat all my clothing after we left my mother in laws house because she was a 6 pack a day smoker and even with a 15 min visit we reeked. I had a vacume sealer and so I put my clothes in the vacume bag with a fabric softener sheet and sucked it down a few times. It seemed to take the majority of the smells out and then I hung them outside for a bit and didn't notice the smell any more. I think if your purse doesn't seem to be water safe I would try this before the febreeze or washer. I have ruined some nice stuff by not following directions on the tags. We mom's can be so stubborn somtimes hahaha.

I don't know about the purse, but for the wool rug I would try washing it by hand with baby shampoo.

Good luck!


I just had a situation with VASELINE and the only thing that got it out was Dawn dishwashing liquid combined with corn starch. I used the corn starch to dap it on to sift the grease out and then washed several times with DAWN. I dont know about the second request .....sorry. Hope this helps!

Can't help with the Aquafor. Can you return the purse? If not, try OdoBan. This stuff is like a heavy duty version of Fabreeze. I had three playpens that were stored away and smelled moldy when I pulled them out. Fabreeze was like spraying water on them. Someone suggested OdoBan and what a difference! You can use these on your moldy smelling tents that have been stored as well. You can buy this at Walmart.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

I don't have any suggestion for the Aqua phor. For the smell of the cigarette smoke use white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and gentle spray the inside and outside of the handbag. Let it dry and repeat if necessary. Vinegar is a neutralizer and works on most smells including cat urine so smoke should be no problem. The other thing you could try is pour coffee grounds (unused, fresh from the can) inside the handbag and let sit. Coffee takes mold and musty smells out of basements. Either should work but my favorite is the vinegar, I use it on all smells. It's cheap and very safe to use.

Good Luck

Don't know about the Aquaphor but I do recommend checking their website or send them an inquiry. I know a lot of products (especially Crayola) will post on their website how to remove their products from clothing, carpets, walls, etc.

For the fabric handbag, try hanging it outside for a few hours to air it out really well. Before you hang it out you might want to try some Febreeze or glade Odor Neutralizer on it. The Febreeze and Odor Neutralizer both usually work pretty well but can also have a strong smell. If you hang it outside and air it out, it should help quite a bit.

Good luck. Hope this helps.

For the Aquaphor.... try using any kind of mechanics hand cleanser like GoJo.

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